The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 7

February 18, 2011

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

Research and Education

Rochester Black Freedom Struggle Online Project

The University of Rochester Libraries has created this fine online project to bring together organizational papers, images, oral histories, and ephemera related to Rochester's black freedom experience in the 1960s and 1970s. Visitors can click on the "Oral Histories" area to look over and listen to snippets from some of the interviews conducted in 2008, including talks with police officers, businessman, and local religious leaders. This section also contains several introductory essays that provide more context on the subject. The "Online Exhibits" area includes features on Rocky Simmons, noted activist and photographer. Visitors should not miss the special exhibit "Writings of Consequence: The Art of John A. Williams," which profiles his work as a writer and in particular his novel, "The Man Who Cried I Am." [KMG]

Ruskin at Walkley

In 1875, John Ruskin came to the Yorkshire city of Sheffield to visit a former student, Henry Swan. Ruskin found Swan's home in the suburb of Walkley quite charming, and he thought that creating a museum there would meet "the needs of local 'workers in iron'" and also tell the "'natural history of the neighbourhood.'" In 1875, Ruskin purchased a cottage for that purpose and hired his former student as curator, forming St. George's Museum. Recently, the University of Sheffield worked together with a number of other partners to recreate the atmosphere and setting of this compelling institution. On the site, visitors can navigate a series of interactive pages, and most of the emphasis is placed on the items that are visible in the surviving photographs of the museum interior. It's helpful to get started here by clicking on the "Explore the Museum" area, and it's a snap to look at period photos of the interior, gardens, and the other exhibits. [KMG]

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy's aim is to increase government effectiveness by using evidence of what works based on rigorous policy analysis. On the "Mission & Activities" tab near the top of any page, visitors can read of the ineffective policies the Coalition targets. For example, the site details government-funded social programs that have failed to make progress in the areas they are supposed to help, such as "poverty reduction", "K-12 education", and "economic mobility." Further down the page is a list of programs that have been deemed effective by the Coalition - "Nurse-Family Partnership," "Career Academies," and "Success for All in Grades K-2." The "Publications" tab lists the five types of publications of the Coalition, including "Rigorous Evidence," their monthly e-newsletter that can be subscribed to for free for anyone interested in evidence-based policy. Some of the other publications include "Published Op-Eds/Letters to the Editor" and "Coalition Policy Proposals," which have covered, among other things, "Technology Development," "Crime/Substance Abuse," and "Health Care." [KMG]

Child Trends

Child Trends is a non-profit, non-partisan research center, and is the "nation's only independent research and policy center focused exclusively on improving outcomes for children." Child Trends has twelve areas of research, listed across the top of any page. Some of the topics include "Child Poverty," "Fatherhood & Parenting," "Youth Development," and "Health." In each section, the research focus on that topic is explained in a brief introduction, followed by resources that include research briefs, executive summaries and full reports, fact sheets, and a publications archive of materials over three years old. A feature that visitors shouldn't miss is "What Works/LINKS," which can be accessed via the left side menu. The data in this section is about "programs that work -or don't- to enhance children's development". There are effectiveness charts, "Lifecourse Interventions that Work," and a continually updated database on programs that work (or don't). Visitors who are "Program Providers" in policy, education, or the media will find the "Information for..." heading on the left side of the homepage useful for fulfilling their specific needs. [KMG]

The Alabama Historical Quarterly

The Alabama Department of Archives and History has a distinguished tradition of presenting a range of presentations, talks, and seminars for educators across the state. Over the past several years, they have been working to digitize a number of state publications, and this archive brings together issues of the Alabama Historical Quarterly. Here, interested parties can view all issues from 1930 to 1982, and the topics covered include vernacular architecture, the Civil War, local traditions, and in earlier issues, poems. There is a gap in publication from 1931 to 1941, but other than, all of the other years are covered. Users can save their favorite items here, and also look at complete document descriptions. [KMG]

U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research

Based at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research (USACEHR) is dedicated "to improving risk assessment methods and to developing biomonitoring technologies for military environmental health hazards." The staff at USACEHR has a facility that includes advanced aquaculture facilities and laboratories specifically designed for aquatic toxicology and molecular biology. Visitors to the site can familiarize themselves with it by looking over the "USACEHR Research" section, and continue on by looking at the "News" area. One very interesting area is the "USACEHR Products" section, which profiles new devices developed here, including an aquatic biomonitor and a device to provide rapid toxicity testing for field water supplies. Scientists and engineers may wish to click on the "Research" section to learn about the thematic research areas, including reproductive health and toxicogenomics. The site is rounded out by a list of publications derived from work sponsored by USACEHR associates. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

El Paso City Directories

Urbanologists and other students of the urban condition can walk through the world of 1888 El Paso via this website. It is certainly a rather unusual "walk," as the digitized city directories offer just a taste of the cultural and social milieu at the time, but they remain remarkable documents. These early city directories date from 1885 to 1905, and their digitization was made possible by a grant to the El Paso County Historical Society from the Robert E. and Evelyn McKee Foundation. The project is housed at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Libraries, and visitors can browse through the documents at their leisure. The directories (in most cases) include business and personal entries, and one can only imagine the historical or literary potential of such material. [KMG]

Princeton Seminary Digital Library

The Princeton Seminary Digital Library offers access to over 185,000 pages of digital materials, and for people with an interest in American religious history, 19th century Korean photographs, and a cornucopia of other topics, this website is worth bookmarking. First-time visitors to the site can browse the materials here by author, collection, or journal. Currently, there are twelve different historical journals archived, including "Biblical Repertory," "Theology Today," and "The Princeton Review." In the "Browse Authors" area, visitors can look through the alphabetical listing or view the most prolific authors in a tag cloud. In the Princeton Collection, visitors can view the materials by document type, including images, poems, and sermons. The "sermon" area has some rather intriguing documents, such as a series of sermons originally published in the 1852 "Princeton Pulpit." [KMG]

General Interest

Edward MacDowell Piano Music Online

As perhaps the best-known American composer of the late nineteenth century, Edward MacDowell wrote a wide range of descriptive short pieces for solo piano. His work was inspired by the New England countryside, and he also drew on a love for fairy tales and poems. This digital collection from the Wellesley College Library presents digitized versions of his sheet music. Visitors can get started by browsing the opus titles, or they can also look through the illustrated covers. Also, visitors can elect to download the files and they may wish to share them musicologists, local music societies, and piano players with a penchant for the lyrical qualities of these works. [KMG]

Annenberg Space for Photography [Flash Player]

The Annenberg Space for Photography is "a cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting both digital and print photograph in an intimate environment." Located in Los Angeles, the interior space is influenced by the mechanics of a camera and its lens, and it creates a compelling architectural metaphor for a convex lens. On the website, visitors can learn about the Space's print and digital exhibits, and perhaps more importantly, view select images from their current exhibits. The "Video Gallery" features works by contemporary photographers including Paul Nicklen, Clyde Butcher, and Michael Nichols. Moving on, visitors can learn about the exhibit themes and read up on the latest additions courtesy of the site's blog. Finally, there are some intriguing videos in the "Iris Nights Videos" area, particularly the "Chasing Down the Secret Lives of Small Subjects" collection. [KMG]

Ludwig-Svenson Studio Collection

Located at the University of Wyoming, the American Heritage Center (AHC) is the institution's repository of manuscripts collections, rare books, and the university archives. Within their impressive archive is the Ludwig-Svenson Studio Collection, which brings together over 3000 original photographs from the 20th century. First-time visitors can browse through the collection by date or subject, and the collection is particularly strong in images from the city of Laramie. The collection is also strong in terms of its coverage of rodeos, street scenes, and local theater events. Visitors should not miss the photo "Al Wilkenson Leaving Torpedo," which is quite outstanding. The photos can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnails, and it's easy to share the photos with friends by clicking the "Share This" link. [KMG]

The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition Collection

In 1893, the city of Chicago was the host of the World's Columbian Exposition. It was a seminal cultural moment in American history, as many new inventions and ideas were discussed and introduced there. After the Exposition closed, the Field Museum was opened in 1894 to house many of the items from this tremendous undertaking. Today, the Field Museum has created this digital collection which features images and data on thousands of items. First-time visitors may wish to start with the "History of the Collection." Here, they can read about how the Exposition came into being and the incorporation of modern anthropological techniques and methods. Moving on, there are "Photo Highlights" organized by region of the world. In this section, visitors will find Inuit boots, Mayan pottery, and spindle shafts from Peru. Museologists and others working in the field will want to look over "Bird's Eye View of The Fair." This area contains a wonderful selection of photographs that document how the artifacts from the collection were displayed at the Exposition. [KMG]

NGA Winslow Homer

The National Gallery of Art's online Winslow Homer exhibit has 35 images from the more than 50 that were on display at the National Gallery in 2005. The images are gorgeous and crisp, and the multimedia components give the exhibit depth. Visitors unfamiliar with Homer's early life and career as an illustrator for Harper's Weekly and an artist-correspondent during the Civil War, should watch the short video in the "Highlights" link. Visitors interested in seeing the progression of Homer's work must check out the "Chronology" link, which not only has a timeline of his life, but also has 36 thumbnails of his work, illustrations, and paintings, in chronological order from 1862-1909. The full-size images can be viewed in a slideshow if visitors click on any of the thumbnails. The text below each of the images explains his departure from oil painting in his earlier days to painting in watercolor, for which he became most famous. Visitors will also note the different focus his paintings of New England have when compared to those in Florida and the Caribbean. [KMG]

Civil War Traveler

The tag line of this website is "Everything you Need to Plan your Civil War Trips." With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War being commemorated this year, this website offers everything for the mildly interested to the downright enthusiastic. Visitors can find every kind of map here, including "Civil War Trails Maps," almost two dozen "Podcast Tour Maps," "Interactive Maps," "National Park Service Maps," and relevant "State Highway Maps." The "Multimedia" link on the site gives visitors access to 26 podcasts of tours of Civil War sites. The podcasts are narrated by noted national park service historians and accompanied by period music. Also in the Multimedia area are the "Richmond Walking Tours" in Richmond, VA, which was the capitol of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. These include five tours, maps for each, and an hour-long podcast to accompany each tour. Visitors interested in going to some Civil War lectures, reenactments, tours, or demonstrations should definitely check out the "Events" link to see a list of all the Civil War events for the 150th anniversary, month by month. The month of April alone has over 100 on the calendar throughout the South. [KMG]

American Sign Museum

The American Sign Museum is the only public collection of its kind, and it is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its fun, colorful website just may bring back memories for some visitors. Users should definitely watch the video tour of the museum with the founder, Tod Swormstedt. The link can be found near the top of the homepage, and is entitled "Take a Video Tour." The founder explains his goals in opening the museum, which are to show "the history of the sign industry and its significant contribution to commerce and the American landscape." He also goes on to reference the urban renewal program from the 1960s called SOS, which meant Scrap Our Signs, as a source of many of the museum's holdings. The excellent "Exhibits" link on the left hand menu contains a link to the museum's permanent collection and visitors will find it is divided into eight categories, including "Painted/Non-illuminated Signs," "Plastic Signs," and "Neon Signs and Displays: The Glory Days." The Exhibits link also offers to visitors half a dozen sections of signs that can be seen from the road (On the Road), while walking around (Walking Tours), or from an armchair (Sign History). [KMG]

Secrets of the Silk Road [Flash Player]

Secrets of the Silk Road is another worthy addition to the growing body of Web-based information about the Silk Road (see, for example, The International Dunhuang Project, founded in 1998 and mentioned in several Scout Reports), launched by the Bowers Museum of Santa Ana, California and presented by University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. This site includes artifacts documenting the history of the Silk Road in the vast Tarim Basin in the Far Western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Three well-preserved mummies from the Tarim Basin have been brought to the United States for the exhibition, along with lavish grave goods. Visitors to the website can view images of "The Beauty of Xiaohe," a female mummy from 1800-1500 BCE and other treasures ranging from a Chrysanthemum Shaped Dessert from the 5th-3rd century BCE, to gold objects such as mask from 5th-6th century CE or the Gold Plaque with Lion Design, 5th3rd Century BCE. [DS]

Network Tools


Splashup is an online photo and image editor that gives users the ability to add multiple layers of depth, manipulate color tones, and also work with 24 different tools. The program is quite easy to use. Visitors won't need to download anything extra to use the program and files can be saved in a variety of file formats. This program is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


Movavi is an online video converter that works simply and quickly to make a range of files available for a variety of purposes. Visitors can add the URL of a file to the online converter, and it can convert files up to a size of 100MB. Users can also select an output format. In addition, there's a FAQ section and a collection of short guides to using the program. This program is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

New Census data shows the continuing challenges and successes in New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina

Census data highlights travails of Katrina victims

Census Bureau Releases First Detailed Data on Katrina Damage to New Orleans Area Housing

St. Tammany Parish president again pushes for Katrina loan forgiveness

American Housing Survey for the New Orleans Metropolitan Area: 2009

Greater New Orleans Community Data Center [pdf]

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Collecting and Preserving the Stories of Katrina and Rita

The Katrina Research Center

Over five and a half years later, community advocates, government officials, and others are still committed to looking into what happened to those people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. This Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau released a detailed study that looks at the 30,000 victims who have been forced to live in five or more homes since the storm hit back on August 29, 2005. The new report comes from surveys that look at over 6,000 housing units constructed in the later part of 2009 in and around the metropolitan area of New Orleans. Commenting on the report, Allison Plyer of the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center noted, "No one has been able to track the folks who have been displaced. It's been quite a mystery." Interestingly enough, the Census data also indicates that New Orleans is under repair, as about 82 percent of the owner-occupied homes in the metropolitan area have been fixed. More data will be available in the coming months, and demographers and others will be looking to see if people will continue to return to the region from other parts of the South and Texas. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to a news story from Bloomberg about this recent report and data release from the US Census Bureau. The second link leads to a press release from the U.S. Census Bureau on this report, along with a few key findings and observations. Moving along, the third link will take users to the full data release on the New Orleans area. The fourth link whisks users away to the homepage of the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. Here visitors can read updates and detailed reports on the recovery, along with looking at news updates and related materials. The fifth link leads to the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, which includes narrative stories from people who were evacuated from the hurricane, along with photos and other documents. Finally, the last link leads to the Katrina Research Center at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast. Here visitors will find photographs of the hurricane's destruction captured by professional and amateur photographers. [KMG]

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Internet Scout, 1994-2011. Internet Scout (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the National Science Foundation.

The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

Internet Scout Team
Max GrinnellEditor
Chanda HaldermanManaging Editor
Edward AlmasyCo-Director
Rachael BowerCo-Director
Andrea CoffinMetadata Specialist
Bryan SchneiderInternet Cataloger
Autumn Hall-TunInternet Cataloger
Tim BaumgardWeb Developer
Corey HalpinWeb Developer
Rusty LalkakaTechnical Specialist
Benjamin YuleTechnical Specialist
Emma SchneiderAdministrative Support
Matt LinsonAdministrative Support
Debra ShapiroContributor

For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout staff page.